Having a good cybersecurity plan is more important than ever
There has been a huge rise in cyber fraud. And, with more and more data moving online, it’s vital that organisations keep their valuable information safe. Not least because, for many modern businesses, a failure to do so could have severe consequences on their operations, reputation and bottom line. Here, Gary Jones from Cloud Geeni shares his tips for businesses to stay safe online.
It pays to be proactive
It’s human nature to want to avoid thinking about the worst. But when it comes to data protection and cybercrime, sticking our heads in the sand is not an option. Because, for businesses of all shapes and sizes, when it comes to the threat of data breaches, it’s no longer a matter of if but when.
Just as important, if an attack does happen, being able to demonstrate the steps you have taken to uphold your data protection responsibilities will go a long way with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
But the good news is that the right preparation won’t just reduce the likelihood of a successful cyberattack against your business, it will also limit the fallout should the worst happen.
Some things you should do now
To reduce the likelihood of data breaches occurring, and to shield your organisation from the consequences of a data hack, you should:
Review your data
To ensure your business is protected, you must first identify and record what personal data you have access to. You should also look at how you gained, store, use and share this information – and how long for – to make sure you are compliant with the latest regulations.
Review your policies and processes
Check your data protection policies and procedures to ensure they are compliant with the latest regulations (this should be a recurring activity). You should also check these against any guidance and regulations specific to your industry. And crucially, you must update your policies and systems where they fall short.
Educate your people
It’s not just cybercriminals you have to worry about. Despite fears about cybercrime, according to data released under the Freedom of Information Act, human error is seven times more likely to cause data protection breaches than hackers.
To protect your organization, you must train your team on how to recognize and respond to common scams at attacks (e.g. phishing, malware, ransomware, etc.). But, they should also understand what they need to do to uphold data protection and the consequences of failing to do this.
Invest in stringent security measures
Establish security measures such as two-factor authentication, data encryption, enterprise-level firewalls, and the ability to strip mobile devices of all data quickly and easily if they are lost or stolen.
You should also store your data in ISO-accredited data centers. And, to make sure your IT is not vulnerable to hackers, you should ensure that all operating systems are updated and implemented regularly and routinely check for viruses and malware. It’s also vital to establish monitoring processes to detect any data breaches.
Ensure you are insured
Standard insurance policies do not cover cyber risk. So check your policy to make sure you don’t run the risk of your insurer refusing to pay out on any cyberattack claims.
Agree security measures with your cloud supplier
Data security is better in the cloud with public cloud infrastructure-as-a-service workloads expected to suffer at least 60 percent fewer security incidents than those in traditional data centers. But, if you are worried about the safety of your business data, any reputable cloud service supplier will be happy to make security part of any SLA.
What to do should a breach happen
If you uncover a data breach or cyberattack, early response tactics and strategies are vital to stop a situation from escalating. As such, establish in advance how you will respond. For example, under the GDPR, as well as greater obligations on companies to keep data safe, there are also increased responsibilities when it comes to reporting breaches. So putting a disaster recovery plan in place is crucial.
If your business does become the victim of a cyber-attack, the ICO could hold you accountable for any failures in your processes and systems. And, under the GDPR, this could result in a huge fine. So, don’t leave it too late to late – take steps now to protect your business or the consequences of not being prepared could be disastrous.